A new calendar year always offers an opportunity for a fresh start and provides an additional pinch of motivation to banish some habits that have stopped serving you well (did they ever?).
Here are 12 things to leave behind if you want to foster a stronger, happier, more successful you in 2017.
1Procrastinating on your goals
Have you been thinking about travelling/switching jobs/getting healthier/starting business ventures?
Big dreams aside, have you put any actions in place to realise them? Putting things in motion is the only way to get somewhere. Otherwise, ask yourself if you do really want this thing that you’ve been talking about all this time.
2Stop fixating on the past
We all have our ‘what if’ moments, decisions we question or regrets we harbour. The secret is this though — it already happened and you can’t change it. But you can actively change the future, so rather than focusing on the past, invest in shaping the future you want to live out.
The world is becoming ever so connected and intertwined. Your actions and words impact the planet and the lives of others.
Empower those around you, give back to the community you feel inspired by and read about what’s happening in other parts of the world.
4Doing everything yourself
Being resilient, independent and driven are admirable traits, but you don’t have to do everything yourself.
People who ask others for help not only achieve things more efficiently and curb the likelihood of burning out, they also build strong networks of likeminded individuals that push them to grow and experience new things.
5Stop enabling toxic relationships
People can be likened to drains or faucets. Which are you involved with? Make the leap and cut out those who take up your time and energy without contributing to your success, growth and happiness.
6Working through lunches
Your body needs proper nourishment to keep you energised and in positive spirits throughout the day. So does your mind.
Taking even a 30-minute time-out during lunch to have a proper meal and give your brain a break from all of the work-related thoughts will keep you more productive and focused.
7Maintaining a casual clutter
Organising doesn’t come naturally to all of us, however if your work desk looks like it was hit by a paper avalanche and sticky notes coat all surrounding surfaces, it’s time to get minimalist.
For one, putting a system in place for filing your projects/important communication and maintaining a comprehensive agenda will increase your sense of composure and assertiveness. Also, you’ll be surprised by how much more manageable your daily workload will feel.
8Treating your online presence like a one-time investment
Sure, you set up your LinkedIn page or finally started a blog — but how often do you update them? Your brand (and reputation) doesn’t grow overnight.
Being consistent with your online properties allows you to add building blocks to your evolving career and increase exposure through algorithms built into the digital platforms tracking activity.
9Taking your free time for granted
After gruelling work-weeks it’s tempting to spend time off binging on movies or your favourite show, but time is finite, and it’s in your hands to make the most of it so weeks don’t blur as you’re going through the usual routine.
There’s no shame in killing two birds with one stone — pair long-discussed coffee plans that never manifest into reality with movies/concerts/art exhibitions that will serve as food for the soul and spirit, host a dinner party for friends, rather than booking individual outings or go on a weekend road trip to get out of the predictable social routines.
While you’re staying up late answering emails and tying loose ends to be more productive, you’re actually doing the opposite.
Apart from the myriad of health issues that continuous under sleeping has been linked to, it is also a significant contributor to deteriorating performance and cognitive functions. An odd late night aside, make sure you gift yourself proper sleep to be on top of your game.
11Thinking in negative terms
Phrases like “I can’t do…,” “I’m not good at …” and “I don’t know how to…” wire our brains to focus on our shortcomings and question our abilities and self-worth.
Instead, adopt a language that is empowering and solution-oriented, that highlights your willingness to learn and utilise your strengths to develop your skills.
12Waiting for big wins
Having ambitious goals is admirable, however the timeline associated with their realisation is generally lengthy, and involves a sequence of steps and goals. Don’t wait for that final puzzle piece to be put in place to feel like you’ve accomplished something.
Recognise that you are investing time and effort every day to bring yourself closer to your goal, and celebrate smaller achievements along the way. After all, it’s not as much about the destination, as it is about the journey!
6 Mental Barriers You Must Tear Down To Succeed
The world has few obstacles as formidable as the ones in our own mind.
Have you hit a slump in your career? If you are finding it difficult to get ahead, it could be because you’re inadvertently holding yourself back in ways you don’t even realize.
Many of us have unhealthy habits and behaviors that stunt our career growth. By becoming aware of them, it’s possible to begin facing these obstacles head-on so that you can remove potential roadblocks to your future success. Here are 6 surprising things that are holding you back:
1. You don’t know the basics
What if you were to build a house on top of a weak foundation? It might be fine for a while, but one day, it would inevitably cause problems and affect your quality of life. Similarly in your career, if you don’t take the time to form a strong foundation of knowledge in your field, it may keep you from advancing and growing later on. Therefore, it’s vital to learn (and sometimes to re-learn) the basics.
There’s no shame in hitting the books and learning the basics or re-learning them, even well into your career. You know how when you re-watch a movie or re-read a book you pick up on things you didn’t notice the first time around? It’s very much the same in career education. So whether you’re a baker or an investor or a manager, make sure to develop a strong foundational knowledge of your field of work. It will serve you in many ways as your career advances.
2. Vague goals
Setting clear and specific goals is one of the major building blocks of career success. On the flip side, without specific goals, you’re more likely to suffer from lack of motivation and aimlessness in your career.
Want proof? Consider the work of Dr. Edwin Locke, who released a still-relevant article in 1968 entitled “Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives.” In this research-based article, he determined that employees were most highly motivated by clear objectives and specific feedback.
Working toward extremely specific goals provided a major source of motivation to actually reach the desired end result, which improved performance. Moreover, specific and difficult goals led to better task performance than vague or easy goals.
3. Caring too much what others think
According to Aristotle, “There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” Are you too much of a people pleaser? If so, this tendency could be holding you back from finding the success you deserve.
No matter what you do, you’ll never please everybody. Yes, you should always make your best efforts in any endeavour, and you should always try to be respectful of the opinions of others. However, don’t let other people’s opinions affect your every move. If you do, you’ll constantly operate from a place of fear and will never achieve great things.
4. You’re trying to figure out everything without a mentor
Bill Gates, Bob Dylan, Oprah Winfrey. What do these people have in common? They’re all crazy successful…and they all had mentors.
Many people suffer from the belief that to become successful, they have to do the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest alone. However, this mindset is likely stunting their career and slowing down success. Truthfully, seeking out the guidance of a mentor is both a brave and smart career move. A mentor who is further along in their career than you can help advise you, point you in the right direction and help you avoid common pitfalls. There is so much to gain from having a mentor; why hold yourself back by trying to do everything alone?
5. Poor time management
Without a doubt, pursuing a new career or business endeavor takes time. Many people claim that it’s impossible to work toward their dreams because there’s just no time. But is this really true?
The fact is, nobody’s ever going to gift wrap extra time and give it to you like a present. It’s your responsibility to make time. It might involve changing some of your habits like bingeing on Netflix or getting lost on Facebook for hours on end. Or, it might mean that you wake up early in the morning like Apple CEO Tim Cook, who gets up at 3:45 so he can answer emails and take some time for himself before the responsibilities of the day descend. There are always ways to make time for what matters if you’re truly driven to succeed.
6. You stopped learning
Lifelong learning is a trait of the most successful people. Don’t you want to be one of them? If you think you know everything, then there’s no possible way for you to continue moving forward in your career or even your life.
As Malcolm X famously said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” When you approach the world as if you can learn from every experience and every person, you’ll reap many benefits. You’ll be able to keep improving, you’ll be able to remain mentally nimble, and since you won’t be a know-it-all, people will probably like you a lot better. Never stop learning if you want to keep growing.
Are any of these things secretly holding you back?
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
(Infographic) How 9 Creative Minds Got Their Ideas
From doing headstands to drinking 50 cups of coffee a day, check out the quirky things that these nine creatives have done.
Coming up with new, creative ideas can be tricky. That’s why it’s important to find a way to get inspired. After all, it’s our own unique rituals that can bring mental clarity and creativity. That could be a quirky habit or routine such as doing headstands or wearing lots of hats.
Igor Stravinksy did headstands, which he believed helped to rest his head and clear his brain. Author Dr. Seuss felt that wearing lots of crazy hats helped inspire his creativity and overcome writer’s block. However, those aren’t even the strangest routines that some of the world’s most brilliant minds have utilised. Steve Jobs bathed his feet in toilet water to reduce stress levels while Honore de Balzac drank up to 50 cups of coffee a day.
Check out Business Backer’s infographic below to learn the weird ways that nine creative minds got their ideas.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
15 Traits Of Unstoppable People
Unstoppable people keep their inner fires burning by developing the characteristics necessary to become successful.
Unstoppable people are like warriors. They are always ready to take on the world. They are guided by a light from within, full of boundless energy and unwavering in their goals. They have learned to activate their natural talents and develop the skills necessary to achieve whatever they aim for.
How do they do this? Where do they find the stamina and strength to keep going? Unstoppable people keep their inner fires burning by developing the characteristics necessary to become successful. Here are 15 traits that will help you go from being a solid achiever to being a truly unstoppable person.
Do you have any yet?
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